Gary Shaw speaks at an Elite Xtreme Combat press conference. Photo by Esther Lin/ProElite.
ProElite, the parent company of Elite Xtreme Combat, is expected to announce a new network television deal with CBS that will make the promotion only the second in the history of the sport of mixed martial arts to produce an event for live television.
The news comes from our friends at MMA Junkie, who have learned from sources close to the deal that an agreement has been reached. Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports says that the deal will be officially announced tomorrow.
Some rumored specifics are as followed: EliteXC heavyweight sensation Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson will likely headline the first event produced for CBS. The events would probably air on Saturday nights in a prime-time slot.
The deal between the two sides is expected to be a four-fight deal which will go into effect in April. Events may be produced every other month or so.
The International Fight League became the first mixed martial arts promotion to land a network television deal when they partnered with MyNetworkTV to televise a number of taped highlight shows and one live event last year. However the network has since has placed IFL programming “on hiatus”, meaning they may or may not decide to continue airing IFL-related shows, potentially leaving EliteXC as the lone promotion with as much exposure.
The possible deal comes close to two months after CBS broke off discussions to air live events with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. UFC President Dana White publicly stated recently that the organization is currently in talks with an undisclosed network. Adam Swift of MMA Payout believes that it may be FOX.
Showtime, which partners with Elite Xtreme Combat in producing and televising live events, is owned by CBS.
If an official announcement is made tomorrow, we will have all of the details right here.
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